“Mixed paper” is one of the major recycling grades. Most of what's collected and sent for processing comes from single-stream recycling collections; in general, mixed paper is NOT generated in commercial recycling. Because it's one of the least valuable recyclable commodities, it makes more sense for manufacturers, distributors, printers, wholesalers - for any enterprise with a recycling plan in place - to sort paper grades where they are generated to prevent them from becoming mixed.
For commercial recycling purposes, any bale that mixes of 2 of the following 3 grades is defined as mixed paper:
- groundwood (newspaper)
- office waste (free sheet)
- kraft (cardboard)
Note that bales made up solely as office waste should be graded as such. Even though there is a literal mix of paper, it does not qualify as mixed grade. Same goes for print mix or any other grade of paper you generate. Single grades of paper earn more revenue than mixed paper with the exception of groundwood. Groundwood and mixed paper are worth about the same price on the commodities market.
Take a look at your monthly recycling reports. If you're being paid for mixed paper, you may be losing out on revenue opportunities, and it's time to ask questions.
For other tips on maximizing your recycling revenue, download our free, no-obligation white paper "7 Proven Ways to Increase Recycling Revenue."